NHL Rumor Mill – June 1, 2022

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Rumors | 34 comments

Check out the latest speculation on the Hurricanes and Blues offseason plans in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski noted the Carolina Hurricanes have several key free agents to deal with this summer. Forwards Nino Niederreiter, Vincent Trocheck and Max Domi and defensemen Ian Cole and Brendan Smith are due to become unrestricted free agents. Forward Martin Necas and blueliners Ethan Bear and Tony DeAngelo are restricted free agents.

Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck (NHL Images).

Wyshynski observed that Trocheck tends to be inconsistent. DeAngelo, meanwhile, led their defensemen with 51 points in 64 games after signing a one-year, $1 million contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander pointed out that Necas’ erratic third NHL season raises questions over where he fits into the Hurricanes’ plans. Bear, meanwhile, was a healthy scratch throughout this postseason.

Luke DeCock also weighed in on the difficult decisions facing Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell, with what to do with DeAngelo and Niederreiter topping the list. He felt Trocheck’s departure via free agency and cutting bait with Necas should be easier. DeCock also noted coach Rod Brind’Amour’s comment about the Hurricanes lacking elite goal scorers.

THE ATHLETIC: Sara Civian suggested Waddell explore the “elite goal scorer” market this summer. She pointed out the Hurricanes lacked a scorer in the top-20 this season despite being among the NHL’s best teams. Their scoring leader was Sebastian Aho, whose 81 points placed him 30th overall in the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Hurricanes have $19.375 million in cap space for 2022-23 with 14 players under contract. Not everyone among those key free agents will be back, especially if Waddell and team owner Tom Dundon decide to pursue a scoring forward this summer.

Maybe they’ll try to sign Colorado’s Nazem Kadri if they let Trocheck walk. Perhaps they’ll pursue Kevin Fiala if the Minnesota Wild decides to shop the pending RFA winger.

I think they’ll bring DeAngelo back after his bounce-back performance this season. Trading Necas could be a mistake but he could be packaged with a draft pick or prospect to land a more established scorer.


STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong doesn’t believe his roster needs major changes after falling in the second round to the Colorado Avalanche. With a number of key players under contract, he felt his team is in a good position for next season.

Armstrong acknowledged the salary cap will affect efforts to re-sign key UFAs David Perron, Ville Husso and Nick Leddy. Still, he believes there’s sufficient time to work things out. He also said he’s not worried about Vladimir Tarasenko returning next season despite last summer’s reports about a trade request. He praised the winger’s bounce-back performance this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reported Perron said he’d love to be back with the Blues, though he declined to speak about his contract situation publicly. Armstrong also indicated he’d like to bring the 34-year-old winger back, citing his ability to still elevate his play despite his age.

Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly can sign a contract extension this summer. He said he absolutely wants to remain in St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perron earned $4 million annually on his current contract and could return for the same cap hit on a two- or three-year deal. Leddy was a good fit with the Blues after joining them in a late-season trade. However, the 31-year-old defenseman will have to accept a pay cut from his $5.5 million to stick in St. Louis.

Husso made just $700k this season so he’s going to get a significant raise despite his postseason struggles. He could cash in on the free-agent market if he wants more playing time as a starter.

Tarasenko hasn’t publicly said he’s changed his mind about a trade but I’d say Armstrong’s comments are a strong indication he won’t be shopped this summer.


  1. As detailed above, some GMs are facing significant cap problems while trying to hold their clubs together, and in this morning’s Ottawa Sun columnist Michael Traikos presents an interesting slant on that subject under the title “You might not be able to buy a championship, but underpaying players is a sure-fire way to win one”


    • Hi George

      Good article, thanks for link

      The premise of taking advantage of or benefitting from low Cap hit, high production contracts is valuable d but

      “ underpaying players is a sure-fire way to win one”

      That is s misleading statement in that “underpaying” infers GMs negotiated well below market value; when in fact the mentions seemed to be all high performances on ELCs

      Can’t believe they ddn’t even mention Shesterkin’s contributions… I truly believe Rangers aren’t playing tonight without Shesterkin getting them there

      He’s the real deal

      Vazy vs this year’s Vezy is going to be great

      • No one “inferred” anything, Pengy. Nor is it misleading. Regardless of how the situation transpired, you can look at virtually every Stanley Cup winner since the advent of the cap era and find that each one of them had players on their roster who – in hindsight – were considered “underpaid” in relation to their contribution.

      • Hi George

        I truly believe the article is misleading by using “underpaid” for ELCs

        ELCs have maxes….. paying them their ELC at max is not “underpaying” them…. It’s dictated in yhr cBA

        More appropriately….. I would think that “several players outperforming their Cap hit” would fit

        Semantics … yes…. But to me “underpaying” seemed to almost shout that GMs were wizards in negotiations and signed these players below FMV and/or expected future FMV (at time of signing)

        As the article mentions some of the Cup winners with stars still on ELCs (it mentions ‘09 Pens; ‘10 Hawks; Canes with Staal on ELC; Ducks with both Zlaf and Perry on ELCs; etc etc)…. were a big bonus for those teams

        They mention Fox

        Rangers are not underpaying him this year. He gets max ELC allowed…. They can’t pay him any more per CBA

        More appropriately…. Fox is massively outperforming his Cap hit (maxed at ELC levels) this year

        As you said “underpaid” in relation to their contribution.” The article focuses on “underpaid”

        Again… just semantics

        We agree to disagree on this point

        All good…. ‘Tis what this site is all about and why it is so good

        Were we all to agree on everything…. Posts would be a series of high fives and back slaps; limiting (IMHO) the valuable experience we have here


  2. Necas + Bear or Joey Keane + 3rd for Fiala, or something similar might work

    • I think you will need to add a higher end prospect and Bear doesn’t really move the needle much as he has sat at times throughout the season. Necas has not improved this year so his value could be down.

  3. Hey George you really like the sun, eh? Traikos is close but his wording is… not the best. Almost every team that goes far or wins does so with players over playing their contracts, and in particular, players on their ELC. It most certainly not paying players on the cheap, I think that’s more a circumstance of the cap not increasing at the expected rate. The bottom line, you want to win? Build a team with good players, in fact the best players you can assemble given the cap restraints and availability. Personally, I’d like to see every team, except Philly, have a super team at one time, like the bolts are now and go for multiple cup runs. It makes for good times, like watching the Flyers attempting to build a team that’s not a laughing stock and the butt end of a joke.

    • Fab Flyers need to turf Fletcher asap.

    • Best way to build a “team” is to hire an inexperienced GM, drop 40% of your cap on four Charmin Soft marshmallows that focus only on their personal stat lines, think the hockey season ends the first week of May, trade away your draft picks and prospects and sign as many 40 year old has beens to one year minimum wage retirement contracts as you can and ensuring you completely ignore any defensive or goaltending issues. Once youve accomplished all of that be sure to keep your entire staff intact to ensure continuous success.

      After another successful playoff run and garnering a league leading amount of respect in the handshake line spend the summer at your cottage in the Muskokas basking in the glow of the greatest season your team has ever had.

      That, is how you build a “winner”.

      • Careful, Ron. Must never state the obvious when it comes to that organization.

      • George,

        This strategy for success can be applied to all organizations. If it works and apparently it does then it should be the model upon which all other teams are built.

        I didnt mention any particular franchise in my post as Im unsure who originally came up with this undisputable formula for success.

        Clearly this, and only this is the standard for success which all teams should strive to meet.

        Having an inhouse Cap expert and roster manager most certainly would assist in any or all team success.

    • Why do I “really like” the Sun? The articles appear daily – in both the Sun and The Citizen since they’re both owned by the same conglomerate – so I read them. I also read daily the columnists for a bunch of other newspapers across North America – sports AND news in general. I just thought it was interesting enough to pass on. But of course, one thing he CAN’T do in the case of the Leafs is point out the obvious without arousing the ire of Leafs fans so, like Simmons, he’s an “idiot.” C’est la vie.

      • George,

        You need to start drinking in the Maple Leaf musings of Luke Fox at LeafsNet.

        Straight shooter, nonbiased and only fact based Pulitzer Prize worthy missives.

        Lukes the best, lol.

  4. Many Wing fans are all out for Stevie to go after Trocheck for the 2C spot. I am not sold on him, especially if he gets over $6.2M !
    Trading for Necas or another young center seems like a better solution to fit the Wings window. I wonder if the Canes would be interested in acquiring Bertuzzi?
    Necas or Jack Drury +Skjei for Bert?

    • It seems to me that RW fans are trying to trade Bertuzzi away with some frequency. Why?

      • Well, the fact he couldn’t be in the lineup whenever they played in Canada due to his refusal to be vaccinated may have something to do with it.

      • Hi redmonsters

        I like those RW fans if they are intending to trade him to Pens or Leafs

        Agree with George; I think many of those fans were likely ready to let him go due to production lost from not playing in the 7 Great White North franchises

        Only a guess… but perhaps some (most?) of those fans have softened their stance?

      • Actually his Vax status has nothing to do with it, more that he is the eldest of the core and is going to require a big long term contract. His value is very high (or should be for a 30 goal scorer on a crappy team) and probably the best trade chip the Wings have that could bring back a good return from a team wanting scoring and grit in a guy who is built for the playoffs. The Wings aren’t going to be in the playoffs for a few more years so it would make sense for both to trade him. Personally I’d love to sign him for 8 but at the same time thinking long term for team it makes sense to trade him.

      • Well, beyond his unvaccination status, there are other reasons we might look at. His skating is on the low side of average…speed is almost OK, and he doesn’t make turns very well. He isn’t very good with the puck, and has a knack for turning it over at the worst possible time and place….too often with disastrous consequences. He has become deadly around the net….can be a true sniper. But you must not allow him to handle the puck very often….just give it to him when he can shoot.

    • I don’t think Drury’s going anywhere.

      Necas can probably be had relatively cheaply.

    • Necas doesn’t even play center for Carolina and he had similar offensive numbers to Pius Suter so how is that an upgrade? Trocheck at least is a proven 2nd line center. Drury has good AHL numbers but is unproven in the NHL.

      Kadri will be vastly overpaid so i don’t see him as an option. Trocheck seems like the best bet right now unless they can sign Malkin for 2 or 3 years. Sign Zadorov also to play with Hronek. Still need to likely trade for someone to play with Seider on the top pair. I would try to get Sanheim out of Philly but not sure what it would take to get him even if their GM can be an idiot at times.

      As for Bertuzzi, you don’t trade him unless he wants way too much, won’t sign or someone is willing to way overpay for him.

  5. One thing I noticed while watching the Carolina/Rangers series was that the Canes generated almost no offense from their D’men. It looked to me that they missed Hamilton more than they care to admit, and I wonder if they regret their decision to not sign him.

    • Deangelo seemed to play too much perimeter hockey and not deep enough to use his skills imho.
      Canes dont really have another option for their powerplay QB but did Tony turn Rod off with some antics?

    • Necas is one of the most skilled and maybe the fastest player Carolina has. He took a step back in his development this year. Jarvis and KK both outplayed him this year. He has a lot of upside potential and he is only 23 years old. He needs to go to the net more. He has as tendency to pass when he has to, not when he should. I would like to see Carolina keep him but would not be surprised if he was included in trade.

      • Not to pick the fly sh&% out of the pepper, GP but Necas’ scoring rate was 51% compared to KK’s 44%.

        The ‘Canes were pretty smug about having signed KK to an offer sheet. They got 12 goals for their 6 million and are now tied to KK for 4.8 million for 6 more years. Now, lacking elite scorers and with money poorly spent on him, doesn’t seem such a knee slapper, does it?

      • Pretty sure the canes are still quite happy with their trade at this point.

        Now if he doesn’t develop into a good middle six winger in the next couple years… then they might regret it.

      • LJ, KK has EIGHT more years at $4.8M, cheers!

      • LJ,

        The Canes obviously don’t regret signing KK to an offer sheet. Otherwise they wouldn’t have extended him.

      • As I understand it, GP, the ‘Canes had two choices upon signing KK: to sign him another contract whose value was influenced by the $6 million, or to let him walk after a single year.

        It is also my understanding that the ‘Canes had a verbal agreement with KK about the length and amount of the extension when they made the offer sheet.

        Maybe they are happy with KK; maybe they found themselves committed to an agreement they now wish they didn’t have, as it seems unlikely that KK will become the elite scorer Brind’Amour laments not having.

    • Our only regret is that the Rangers didn’t sign him to replace Trouba 🙂

  6. Canes need to re-sign Trocheck to a 5-6 yr deal at $6.2M . Get a scoring winger. Trade Necas + + for Fiala or Bertuzzi or a little less for Boeser, or sign one of Reily Smith, Palat, Rakell…. or even trade Necas for DeBrusk +

    • They almost have to pop KK @ 2C with his salary allocation and find a winger who is more consistent finishing as much as I think Trouchek is one of the better UFAs. Or make a move for Duchene?

  7. It is obvious that Carolina had an agreement for 8 years with KK before the season. They waited to announce it because otherwise they would’ve commit fraud, as Montreal should’ve get 4 x 1st round choices and not only 1. It’s still fraud to me.

    Carolina was so keen on their vengeance path for the MTL Aho hostile offer that they forgot to evaluate KK properly. Now they are stuck with him for 8 years. Good for them.

  8. The Blues
    Can see the Blues Brining Back Nick Leddy he was good on there d,

    Peron…❓ at a reduced pay rate for 2 years tops…
    if not maybe they go after
    Colorado’s Nazem Kadri he is going to be in demand for sure he will get a 3 year contract somewhere
    Blues need more fire power up front.

    Ville Husso is gone…….⁉️ Husso wants to be a Starter, there will be 4-5 teams looking at him,
    he could get $4.M + for a 3-4 year deal